Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, today expressed his concern with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) finalized endangerment finding which formally declares greenhouse gas emissions as dangerous pollutants - a move which could have a devastating impact on agriculture producers.
Today's announcement will allow the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The federal mandate could force producers to make costly changes to reduce emissions - even if Congress does not pass cap-and-trade legislation. The decision comes as an international climate summit begins meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Smith is a cosponsor of H.R. 391, legislation which would exempt certain gases, including methane, from EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act. In April, Smith sent a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) requesting a hearing on environmental burdens on rural American.
"Today's announcement was a tremendous disappointment for everyone concerned for the future of production agriculture. Agriculture is an energy-intensive industry, and new federal mandates could stifle any growth we are experiencing. This is a dangerous shift in policy which could result in a direct compliance tax on ag producers at a time when we can least afford it," Smith said.